Please sign in to post.

Tour from Jerusalem Options

Hey so I’ve been on and off this forum for little while now and I always find great advice when I ask. I’m currently pondering my options for my time in Jerusalem as it relates to tours.

I have 5 nights, which affords me 3 full days in the city itself and another day to do a tour. I chose that tour to be Petra all the way in Jordan. It should also be stated that I’m very aware of the expense, time, and distances covered to make that happen…but I would pay twice as much, spend twice as long traveling, get half as much sleep, and half the time actually being there if it meant I could go.

With all of this said, if I could manage another day in this beautiful region of the world, how best should I spend it? I will of course be based in Jerusalem and I had 2 ideas in mind. One was to see Masada & the Dead Sea, and the other idea was to spend another day in Jordan and take the 2 day tour from Jerusalem, which would cover both Petra and the Wadi Rum desert.

With all of this in mind, has anyone done these tours and have any insight? How was it logistically or how challenging or how fun maybe? I wanted to see a piece of the Middle East outside of just the city atmosphere.

Posted by
15694 posts

Masada and the Dead Sea are an easy one day trip. You will find numerous tour companies offering both in one day. It's easy to do and not to be missed.

Posted by
7906 posts

You need three full days to see all the sites in Jerusalem (that includes a short trip down to Bethlehem).

Posted by
149 posts

Thanks Frank :) Masada, and the Dead Sea especially, seem very characteristic of the region.

And thank you too Geovagriffith :) I couldn’t agree more. I thought 3 days in Jerusalem itself (not including travel day of course) was a solid plan. The extra day I’m referring to will be adding a 6th day, rather than taking one of the city days to accomplish an additional tour.

Posted by
5450 posts

A day trip from Jerusalem to Petra? Only possible if you spend the night in Petra or have a personal helicopter. The drive alone is 6 hours each way, not including border crossing times. The border takes hours. You'll need at least 8-10 hours in Petra itself.

The flight between Amman and Ben Gurion isn't running right now either. I've actually taken that flight on RJ in the morning from Ben Gurion to Amman and then back to Ben Gurion at night, but I only stayed in Amman for about 6 hours. As you need to be at Ben Gurion 3-4 hours before flight time, my day began at 3 am and ended at 3 am the following day, with only a few hours for meetings in Amman.

Posted by
149 posts

The tour I was looking at leaves at like 3 am…drives through the Judean desert, and crosses the border, then continues to drive to Petra. The tour group ends up being there for a few hours. I want to say it’s like 2 or so guided, and another 2 or so free roaming. Then they take you back the same day.

You’re not wrong however. It will be a very long day. It’s also one of the seven wonders of the world :) And my favorite movie of all time is the third Indiana Jones movie so I’m definitely convinced hahaha.

I’m considering a night in Wadi Rum though, since all of that time and money will be spent trying to get there anyways so I didn’t want to rule it out.

Thanks for the response Emily! :)

Posted by
674 posts

Getting to Masada and to the Dead Sea is a very easy trip from Jerusalem. Starting early I’d recommend heading to Masada first to beat the heat and the tour bus crowds. The cable car gets you to the top very quickly. If you chose to use the Masada Snake Path up and down then plan about an hour in each direction. Not sure how much the area surrounding the Dead Sea has been developed since my visit. The Dead Sea museum is in Jordan. Interestingly, on your trip to Jordan you may pass by the Dead Sea.

Posted by
327 posts

I also recommend your extra day be spent in the Dead Sea area (Israeli side). We didn't choose to include Wadi Rum when we visited Petra but spent many days in the Dead Sea area. If you want to maximize your time, visit Masada early in the morning, Ein Gedi (a short hike and lush surroundings where David sheltered and wrote about) and then the Dead Sea later in the day. We really enjoyed our time at sunset there. It can be awfully hot and humid in the warmer months. Then head back to Jerusalem at dark.

Posted by
4341 posts

Is there a reason, if you are going to dedicate an extra night, that you would not use it at Petra since you really want to go there? With only a few hours at somewhere you really want to be, why would you go somewhere else instead of seeing more of what you are going for? It’s a huge site. Spend all of your daylight hours there on Day 1, spend the night, then on Day 2 make a brief stop somewhere else along the way back to Jerusalem (or get up and spend a few more hours at Petra before heading back).

Posted by
149 posts

Thank you guys for the tips and how to manage the days. Unfortunately I’ll be at the mercy of tours so I’ll have to go on their schedule. I believe you get more time at Petra with the 2 day tour since you don’t need to spend half the day driving back.

And yeah the Dead Sea and Masada seem to be very popular, probably for good reason hahaha.